I wasn’t able to watch the Rockets lose to the Mavericks 109-06 because I’m out of town right now. Even with the Rockets having won four in a row and 9 of their past 11 games, I knew there was no way the Rockets were going to win against the red hot Mavs. The Rockets have been relying too much on big plays down the stretch to win most of those games against mediocre teams.
Even with a monster game from Tracy McGrady (45 points on 17-of-29 shooting, 7 assists), his teammates provided hardly any help as they mostly watched T-Mac do his thing, including running out of gas late.
Juwan Howard chipped in 16. Rafer Alston (12 points) made 4-of-5 three-pointers, but missed his other 5 shots. And Luther Head was 2-of-10 for 8 points. Shane Battier surprisingly scored only 5. That’s not going to “git ‘r done.”
Meanwhile, Dirk Nowitzki scored 30, Josh Howard poured in 28, and Devean George was the X-factor by hitting 4-of-5 threes for 15 points. I thought Mark Cuban said George’s role was to mainly play defense, and wasn’t being asked to score in the Mavericks’ scheme? When you’ve got a guy like that who can come off your bench and jump-start an offense, it’s tough to beat. Especially when you’ve already got a guy like that in Jerry Stackhouse (13 points, 5-of-10 shooting). Too many weapons.
Also tough to beat will be the 29-8 Phoenix Suns Wednesday night, who aren’t playing a back-to-back like the Rockets are. Looks like it’s going to be another Dallas-Phoenix Western Conference Finals in May.
You gotta love the story line between good friends Dirk and two-time MVP Steve Nash facing off against each other deep in the playoffs for a second straight year.
For more on the loss to the Mavericks, let me refer you to the Houston Chronicle story on the game.